Washington County is named for George Washington, who was the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Jackson County
E – Scott County and Clark County
S – Floyd County, Harrison County and Crawford County
W – Orange County and Lawrence County
Created: December 21, 1813
Salem 1814 – present
County Courthouse – Salem
Location: 99 Public Square / Main Street
Built: 1886 – 1888
Style: Richardsonian Romanesque
Architect: Harry, Kenneth and Roy McDonald of Louisville, Kentucky
Contractor: Crumbo, Melcher, Routh & Company of New Albany and Salem.
Description: The building faces south and is a two story gray colored limestone structure. The limestone was quarried locally. The rectangular shaped building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Public Square in the center of Salem. The building is rock faced. The south side of the front has a porch with five arches and recessed entrance. Above are five long arched windows with a peaked roof above. On the north side rises a high stone tower with clock and round open tower above with a conical roof. The clock faces are six feet in diameter. In the interior are broad corridors and high ceilings. The floors in the basement and first story are stone. Iron balusters grace the stairs. Each room contains a fireplace.Stairs on the east side of the entrance lobby ascend to the second story where the courtroom is located in the northeast corner. The courtroom is forty feet by sixty feet and eighteen feet in height with the judge’s bench at the west end. The building houses the County Circuit Court and the County Superior Court of the 24th Judicial District. In 2018 the tower was restored. The architect was RATIO Architects and the contractor was General Restoration Corporation of Columbus, Ohio.
See: The architect H P McDonald and Brothers of Louisville, Kentucky. The architect, Harry, Kenneth and Roy McDonald of Louisville, Kentucky, designed the courthouse in Gibson County.
See: The 24th Judicial District includes Crawford County, Harrison County and Orange County.
History: The county was created in 1813 and Salem was selected as the county seat in 1814. The first county meeting was held at the home of William Lindley. The first courthouse was built by John DePauw at a cost of $2,490 and the jail was built by Marston G Clark in 1814. The second courthouse was a two story structure built by John E Clark, Charles B Naylor and William Naylor in 1826 to 1829 at a cost of $4,935. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1886 to 1888 at a cost of $72,882. In 2018, the cost of restoration was $1,038,000.
County Courthouse – Salem
Photos taken 2008